A new study examining fly-in fly-out families indicates a lack of solid evidence the lifestyle contributes to increased divorce and separation.
There’s no solid evidence that fly-in fly-out work contributes to increased rates of divorce and separation, a study suggests.
The Australian Institute of Family Studies reviewed research into FIFO mine workers and their families, who are located mostly in the resource states of Western Australia and Queensland.
The review found a lack of empirical evidence that the FIFO lifestyle contributed to higher rates of family breakdown.
“Evidence at this stage remains largely anecdotal,” the report said.
There were also limited studies into the effects on children of having a FIFO parent.
One study concluded there was no difference between FIFO children, military children and a control group in depression, anxiety and perception of family function.
“Most families have tended to cope with the lifestyle but it does not suit everyone,” Institute spokeswoman Elly Robinson said.
“Children may experience negative emotions as the result of the FIFO parent’s absence.”
She said this may include increased behaviour problems, increased school bullying and pressure to succeed academically.
Partners left at home, usually mothers, faced loneliness and difficulty finding flexible work and childcare.
Ms Robinson said the research indicated constant coming and going created confusion over family decision-making and parental roles.
The review found FIFO workers may be reluctant to seek support on mental health issues or stress management.
A heavy drinking culture exists across some mine sites, the report said.